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Long solar exposures increase the possibility of developing vision complications

Alicante. Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Although most of the harmful radiation from the sun is absorbed by the atmosphere, the surface of the earth reaches enough ultraviolet rays to cause skin burns and eye complications in structures such as the retina and the cornea. In this sense, studies show that every hour that is dedicated to being exposed to the sun in summer increases by 4% the possibility of developing alterations in the structure of the lens.

From the  Department of Optics, Pharmacology and Anatomy  of the University of Alicante insist on how the use of homologated sunglasses from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. can reduce that probability by around 2%. Ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for our eyes and, they point out, “produces a cumulative effect that could trigger in some cases problems in the photoreceptors, poor vision progressively, macular degenerations, or the appearance of a pterygium, tissue that Invades the cornea, known colloquially as the palm tree. ”

To avoid any alteration, one of the essential conditions is the choice of a sunglass that is marked with the seal of the European Community (EC), since this indicates that it respects the European regulations. In addition, “it should not be forgotten that spectacles are an important element for visual health and, therefore, their acquisition must be supervised by an optician-optometrist”, says from the Department of the UA, David Piñero.



In Spain, special attention must be paid to the protection of the eyes from the sun from June to August as it is the season and the hours where the sun is in the best position to bring us its ultraviolet rays. “From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., you should minimize prolonged exposure if possible and in case you are not using good eye and sun protection,” they insist from the UA.

Another important aspect is to know the degree of filtration necessary for the environment and the activity in which we use it. According to European regulations on sunglasses, sun protection filters are classified into five categories, from 0 to 4.

In the case of driving it is correct to use category 1, 2 or 3 protection, never using the 4 as this could make it difficult to perceive traffic signals. According to the UA expert, “in summer in Alicante with category 2 or 3 protection is more than enough, but in the case that we practice water sports or in high mountains, where there is a reflection of sunlight considerably, would be Suitable to use a 4 “protection.

Special attention and care must be given to the youngest and the oldest. Boys and girls are especially sensitive to ultraviolet radiation, since the lens is very transparent until adolescence. It is advisable to use filters of categories 2 and especially 3, and of lenses and rods very resistant. In the case of the elderly, the same category is recommended as for children.


Color does not matter

Just as the price is not a quality parameter, the color of the lens is also not indicative of the protection it offers. “The color of the glasses is not a crucial factor in the choice of sunglasses, the main thing is to check the degree of filtration and its CE marking to verify that it is an approved product,” warns David Piñero.

“What is known from a recent study is that the selection of color is arbitrary, since it is related to the characteristics of the type of light transmitted by the glass and, therefore, that reaches the eye. This choice may affect the process of suppression of melatonin ( Owczarek G. et al., Med Pr 2017), a hormone released by the endocrine system and regulating many of the bodily functions, especially in the reproductive system, Growth and mood. Yellow and brown filters appear to have the ability to further influence the secretion of this substance. Therefore, it is advisable when choosing a sunglasses color, consult with an optician-optometrist who will indicate the suitability of the degree of filtration and coloration of the filter you select “,


Source :University of Alicante

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